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Qaumajuq: New Inuit art centre opens at the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Global News



Qaumajuq, an art centre showcasing the world’s largest collection of Inuit art, officially opened at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Thursday.

The Inuit art centre adds another 40,000 square feet to the WAG, making it the fifth-largest art museum in Canada.

“The WAG has this extraordinary collection of Inuit art, close to 14,000 objects (and) another 8,000 on long-term loan,” Winnipeg Art Gallery director and CEO Stephen Borys said, also noting that the WAG has been collecting Inuit art for 70 years.

A visible vault of Inuit art inside Qaumajuq at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Credit / Lindsay Reid

“We’ve exhibited and published more than any museum in the world, but we’ve never been able to kind of share more than probably one per cent of the collection at any time.”

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Borys says Qaumajuq not only showcases Inuit art and exhibits, but also provides space for research and education and bridges Canada’s north and south.

“What we can do in the south I think raises the profile of Inuit art,” he said. “(And makes us) a better partner and it gives us a chance to create opportunities for training, apprenticeships, internships for students with artists, and it just gives us a chance to do more with education.”

Read more:
Winnipeg Art Gallery to project Inuit art on exterior walls in lead-up to Qaumajuq opening

INUA, the inaugural exhibit of the new Inuit art centre, had a virtual opening Thursday and Friday. The exhibit is available to the public for free from March 27 to April 2 with timed tickets.

The exhibit features the work of nearly 90 Inuit artists from northern Canada, as well as a few living in the south.

The artists

Tuktoyuktuk, N.W.T., artist Maureen Gruben is one of the artists featured at INUA.

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“My inspiration mostly comes from my environment that I grew up with, here in the Arctic on the shores of the Beaufort Sea,” she said. “So I do a lot of collecting of raw materials such as bone and fur and just different raw materials that I find around here and then incorporate industrial materials with the raw materials.”

Tuktoyuktuk artist Maureen Gruben collects fur, bones and other raw materials from the Arctic, often incorporating them with industrial elements.

Courtesy / Maureen Gruben

Tuktoyuktuk artist Maureen Gruben working with a polar bear hide.

Courtesy / Maureen Gruben

Gruben, who still lives in Tuktoyuktuk, says her passion for art started from a necessity to sew.

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“Part of growing up as a woman was learning how to sew, so making your own parkas, mitts, mukluks, hats, that sort of thing,” Gruben told Global News. “I think that’s where it starts for many Inuit people is the necessity of having to sew, and from there it just progressed into different types of art. So now I’m sewing ice and that sort of thing.”

Read more:
WAG open again, gearing up for Inuit Art Centre grand opening

Many of her pieces are engrained with a powerful message relating to preserving the environment, climate change or speaking for the polar bears.

“(My ideas) just come through me, I kind of just feel like I’m the conduit and words just come through me,” Gruben said. “So it’s such an honour when people recognize your work. Especially when you can raise awareness and be an activist for your own environment, that’s what I’m really proud of.”

Gruben’s piece Waiting for the Shaman is featured at INUA. The piece is made from polar bear bone paws Gruben has been collecting.

Maureen Gruben’s piece Waiting for the Shaman is featured at INUA, the inaugural exhibit of Qaumajuq.

Courtesy / Maureen Gruben

“They just kind of formed themselves, and I tried many ways of how to put them together, and they just formed a circular (shape), like that’s the shape that they wanted to be in,” Gruben said.

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Gruben says Qaumajuq is a profound place to showcase Inuit art.

“I think they did a beautiful job,” she said. “I think we’re blessed to have a centre like this where we can showcase our work and celebrate our ancestral talents.”

Happy Valley-Goose Bay artist Shirley Moorhouse has two wall hangings as part of INUA.

Click to play video: 'Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery'

Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Jan 8, 2021

“I’m so glad and honoured to be part of this exhibition, it was one of my dreams to having one of my work shown in the old Winnipeg Art Gallery,” Moorhouse said. “So I’ve been working towards this goal, this dream for about 25 years.”

Moorhouse uses a variety of materials in her artwork — everything from caribou skin, glacial rocks, traditional beading, and sometimes even electronics.

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She says she has one traditional wall hanging at INUA and one contemporary one. Both have powerful messages of her own personal experiences, Indigenous culture, and the environment.

“I’m blessed to make it aesthetically beautiful, but I always try to have a conversation somehow.”

Click to play video: 'WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre'

WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre

WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre – Apr 16, 2019

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat



Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.

“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.

Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.

“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”

The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.

Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.

“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.

“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”

Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.

April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.

Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.

Rylie Trampleasure, Grade 2, has her work on display at Cariboo Art Beat. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Isabella Buchner

Isabella Buchner

Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune

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Launching the conversation on Newfoundland and Labrador art history



ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is a book that has been a long time coming, Mireille Eagan says.

While working at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Eagan curated an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation with Canada.

“As I was researching, I noticed that there was very little that existed in terms of the art history of this province,” she said. “There wasn’t even a Wikipedia article.”

Noticing this large gap, “Future Possible” was a book that needed to exist, she said.

As the 70th anniversary approached in 2019, Eagan, now living in St. John’s and working as curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, envisioned filling that gap.

Over two summers, The Rooms held a two-part exhibition. The first looked at the visual culture and visual narratives before the province joined Confederation and the second focused on 1949 onward, Eagan said.

“At its core, it was asking, what are the stories we tell ourselves as a province? It was looking at iconic artworks, it was looking at texts that have been written about this place, and it put these works in conversation with contemporary artworks,” Eagan said.

In the foreword to the book, chief executive officer of The Rooms Anne Chafe described it as a complement to the exhibition and a project that “does not seek to be the final say. It seeks, instead, to launch the conversation.”

History and identity

One example of that conversation between the past and the present mentioned by Eagan is the work of artist Bushra Junaid, who moved to St. John’s from Montreal as a baby. The daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Junaid said her experience growing up in the province in the 1970s, where she always the only Black child in the room, was not like most.

“All of my formative years, my schooling and everything, took place in St. John’s,” she said. “It’s very much shaped my current preoccupation.”

Her interest in history, identity and representation led her to making “Two Pretty Girls…,” which used an archival photograph of Caribbean sugarcane workers from 1903 with text from advertisements for sugar, molasses and rum from archived copies of The Evening Telegram collaged over the women’s clothing.

In her essay “Of Saltfish and Molasses” published in “Future Possible,” she described the work as “(allowing) me to place these women and their labour within the broader historical context of the international trade in commodities that underpinned Caribbean slavery and its afterlife.”

It’s a direct connection between Newfoundland and people in the Caribbean, a historical line not often drawn through the context of the transatlantic slave trade, but one she knows personally through the stories told by her mother, Adassa, about their ancestor, Sisa, who “as a teenager, survived the horrors of the Middle Passage, enduring the voyage from West Africa to Jamaica in the hold of a slave ship (Junaid).”

A book like “Future Possible” allows people to interpret themselves and their past, present and future, Junaid says.

“I appreciate the ways in which they really worked to make it as broad and diverse as possible,” she said. “It’s also striving to tell the Indigenous history of the place, the European settler history … and then also looking for … non-Western backgrounds such as myself. It’s enriching.”

What shapes us

St. John’s writer Lisa Moore contributed an essay called “Five Specimens from Another Time” that weaves together moments from her own life, the province’s history and current realities and the art that has inspired her over the years.

“It’s really interesting to me to see all this work of people that I’ve written about in the past and whose work influenced me, even in my writing of fiction, and then newer artists,” Moore said. “I just think that the book is a total gift.”

With such a rich cultural history ready to be written, she imagines “Future Possible” is just the first of what could be many books about art in the province now that the “ice is cracked.”

“The writers that (Eagan) has chosen to write here are also really exciting critics from all over the province, talking about all kind of different periods in art history,” she said.

As time passes, the meaning of the works in the book becomes richer, she said.

Mary Pratt’s 1974 “Cod Fillets on Tin Foil” and Scott Goudie’s 1991 “Muskrat Falls,” for instance, are two images with seemingly straightforward and simple subject matter. But any viewer looking now, who is aware of the cod moratorium and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, would find it difficult to see and interpret these images outside of those contexts.

“Artists, writers, filmmakers … they’re keen observers of culture and the moment that we live in,” Moore said. “They present things that are intangible like the feeling of a moment, or the culmination of social, political and esthetic powers that come together at a given time and shape us.”

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is available online and in stores.

Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.
[email protected]
Twitter: @andrewlwaterman



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Parrott Art Gallery goes virtual to help flatten the curve – The Kingston Whig-Standard



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Feeling stir crazy because of COVID and the latest lock-down? Take a virtual trip to Morocco!

On Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m., the Parrott Gallery will host Lola Reid Allin’s Armchair Traveler online presentation: “Morocco: Sea, Sand and Summit”. Allin is an accomplished photographer, pilot, writer and speaker. Travel with her through the land of dramatic contrast and hidden jewels, busy markets and medieval cities, and enjoy some virtual sun.

For more information and to register for this free online event, please visit The Armchair Traveller Morocco photography exhibit is also available to view through the Parrott Gallery website until mid-May.

Even though our gallery is currently closed to the public, our exhibitions are all available to view online. Sam Sakr’s show “The Housing Project” is certain to bring a smile to your face. His collection of mixed media artwork will take you to a playful land of fantastical creatures that inhabit imaginary, stylized cityscapes. If your spirit needs uplifting, you need to see to see this show. I hope that everyone will be able to view Sakr’s work both online and then in our gallery after the lock-down ends in May. Without a doubt, it will be worth the wait to see it again in-person when we re-open.

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Another exhibition that you can currently visit on the Parrott Gallery website is the group show “Spring Sentiments: a Reflection of Art in Isolation”. This was a collaborative effort by the 39 artists who submitted their work, our staff who put the show together in the gallery and online, and our guest curator Jessica Turner. We are thrilled that Jessica was able to transcribe her experience with this show into a final paper for her Curatorial Studies BFA degree at OCADU.

The fact that we have had to close our doors just as this show was opening is a sad reflection of the theme as the audience must now reflect on this artwork at home, in isolation. The up-side to viewing this exhibition online is that one can read the artist statements that accompany the work and get a more in depth view of the artists’ perspectives. We encourage viewers to support our artists by sending in their comments and to vote for their favourites in the show by following the appropriate link on the webpage.

When you can’t come in to our building, the Parrott Gallery will bring the artwork to you. And then when the sun and flowers come out in May, and when it is safe to return to our gallery on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, we hope to see you all again.

For questions about our online talk, our shows, or to purchase any of the artwork please call us at 613-968-6731 x 2040 or email us at

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

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